Stephen Maguire going into Ronnie O'Sullivan clash planning eye operation

April 25, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

2022 Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day 2
Stephen Maguire is struggling with his eyesight, despite making it to the Crucible quarter-finals (Picture: Getty Images)

Stephen Maguire reckons he needs to have laser eye surgery for a second time as he is struggling with his eyesight, which doesn’t sound like the best preparation for a World Championship quarter-final against Ronnie O’Sullivan this week.

The Scot had to come through qualifying to reach the Crucible but is into the last eight after a battling win over Shaun Murphy in round one and an impressive victory over Zhao Xintong in the last 16.

Maguire looked good in the 13-9 win over the reigning UK champion, making two centuries, but admitted afterwards that his eyes are letting him down.

The 41-year-old had an operation on his eyes 11 years ago and he believes it is time for him to do so again.

‘I need to get my eyes tested after the tournament – at the moment I feel like I’m playing from memory,’ he said after beating Zhao.

‘I had laser eye surgery when I was 30 and the girl told me it would last 10 years, so hopefully I will be able to see a wee bit of difference if it’s possible to get it changed.’

Maguire got the better of Zhao Xintong in the second round (Picture: Getty Images)

Maguire is not only fighting against his vision struggles, but he is going through a very strange time with his cue, or more accurately, cues.

The former world number two has been using a number of different cues this season and went to an extreme this tournament as he returned to Scotland after his first round match to borrow another one from his friend for the Zhao clash.

‘I had to,’ Maguire told Eurosport. ‘There were shots out there that I couldn’t go for because I did not know what was happening with the cue.

‘That was part of the reason why I had to keep it tight as well and reign it in a little bit. I’m not going to say I’m going to be used to the cue in the next three days because it may take a while. It could have gone either way coming down here with a new cue. Lucky for me I like it.

‘It is difficult. I’m not going to lie and say it is okay. It shouldn’t be done. Nobody should do it, but I had no choice. If I didn’t change my cue, I don’t think there was any way I was winning that match so I thought I might as well change something and see what we can find. I’m glad I did. Plan went together!’

He added: ‘I’ve been struggling with cues for the last few years really. In tournaments I’ve played with about 30 cues over the last few years.

‘It’s terrible, and I think I’ve paid the price for it with my ranking. It’s not helped, but finally I’ve found this cue.

‘I’ve only had it for a few days, but I actually like it and I feel like I could get used to it, so roll on next season.

‘I’m looking forward to (playing Ronnie). Playing him any time is pretty good, he brings a different atmosphere to any match – especially here.’

Ronnie O’Sullivan awaits Stephen Maguire in the last eight (Picture: Getty Images)

Maguire is now just one win away from a third World Championship semi-final and is desperate to put right what he feels was a wrong from the last time he was there, 10 years ago.

‘I’d love to play in the one-table set-up again,’ he said. ‘I didn’t do myself justice the last time.

‘It annoys me to this day that I went in and I don’t know who I thought I was to give Ali Carter no respect, and I paid for it.’

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